Hinge and Sign: Poems, 1968-1993

Hinge and Sign: Poems, 1968-1993

by Heather McHugh
     
 

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A renowned poet’s artful collection is a striking body of work  See more details below

Overview

A renowned poet’s artful collection is a striking body of work

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A zealously crafted improvisation…her work is a testing ground of edges, allegiances and resistances.” —Publishers Weekly

“By turning language into courage, she manages to bounce you back from despair, keeps moving fear and pity into precarious laughter. Her poems are open, resilient, invisibly twisted: part safety net, part trampoline.”
—Voice Literary Supplement

“The new poems are a striking body of work…Heather McHugh’s Hinge & Sign is not to be missed.”—Colorado Review

“McHugh brings poems from four previous volumes together with a significant amount of new work…[She] artfully entwines the prosaic with the empyrean, twisting mundane images into verbal feasts, letting language flow through her hands rather than shaping it to her will… This collection allows one to appreciate the development of her poetry over 25 years and to witness he increasing strength and maturity of her voice.”
—Booklist

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
McHugh ( Broken English ) is a cerebral writer whose thinking maintains a dialectical tension with her choice of words and forms--they challenge one another. How generic a description that sounds; and yet, McHugh is anything but generic. The words and forms? They tend to be jauntily fastidious, calling to mind something of the steeliness (and the corners cut, in fun and in earnestness) of Emily Dickinson, while also summoning up a sure sense of jazz. The poetry seems to be a zealously crafted improvisation. And while her very gift for crafting can occasionally crimp or overtake play of mind, most of McHugh's poems are large in manner and in matter, forward-thrusting songs, whether they concern the infinitive ``to have to''; a protracted death that is ``unspeakable'' (but marvelously spoken of); or McHugh's coiled, frontal version of an ars poetica . It's good, now, to have more of her: here, 24 new poems, along with generous selections from five previous books. ``The edges of the said / so long and so / perversely have/attracted me,'' she writes; her work is a testing ground of edges, allegiances and resistances. (May)
Elizabeth Gunderson
In her first collection since "Shades" (1988), McHugh brings poems from four previous volumes together with a significant amount of new work. In a brief introduction, she writes that to be a writer with a reader "is rather like being, oneself, of two minds, at every turn: hinge and sign." Not only are there hinges of lyrical words keeping together the signs in her poems; they also contain a woman with one glass eye, a waddling seal, Fido the uberpooch, and a martyr in an iron mask. McHugh artfully entwines the prosaic with the empyrean, twisting mundane images into verbal feasts, letting language flow through her hands rather than shaping it to her will. Often she makes wry, witty observations as though she were a kind of contemporary Greek chorus chiming in from the stage's dark recesses. This collection allows one to appreciate the development of her poetry over 25 years and to witness the increasing strength and maturity of her voice.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780819572127
Publisher:
Wesleyan University Press
Publication date:
03/01/2011
Series:
Wesleyan Poetry Series
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
237
Sales rank:
1,306,609
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

HEATHER MCHUGH is Milliman Distinguished Writer-in-Residence and Professor of English at the University of Washington in Seattle. She regularly teaches at the low residency MFA Program at Warren Wilson College. She is the author of six books of poetry, including, most recently, The Father of the Predicaments (Wesleyan 1999). In 1993, Wesleyan published her literary essays, Broken English: Poetry and Partiality. She has translated the work of Jean Follain, and with her husband Nikolai Popov, the work of Blaga Dimitrova and Glottal Stop: 101 Poems by Paul Celan (Wesleyan 2000). In 1999, she was elected a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

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